Sunday, September 25, 2011

God and the Government

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:1-7 NKJV

Honor the king. 
1 Peter 2:17b

There was quite the ruckus earlier this week. Capital punishment was at the forefront, when Troy Davis, his family, attorneys, and many influential people try to get him clemency from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. All efforts failed, and Davis was executed for killing a police officer 22 years ago. My prayers of salvation, ease of grief, restoration, and wisdom goes to Mark MacPhail's family and the Davis family. I want both sides to have closure in this.

Whether you felt an injustice had occurred with the Davis execution, or you thought justice had finally been served, there were several things we as Christians need to be bear in mind. For Christians on both sides, and yes, they are on both sides, we must accept it as God's will. 

These are our leaders. Some were voted in, and others were appointed. What I find so funny is people act like God is learning these things as we learn them. Nope. It amuses me when people in one political party cannot understand how Christians could be in the other political party.

Quite simply, God knew that Troy Davis was going to die. He knew the United States was going into a recession. He knew we would go to wars for attacks on September 11, 2001. He knew when George Washington became the first president, that George W. Bush would be elected, too. And He knew Barack Obama was going to be elected. 

God is not unaware. In fact, He ordained it. These people, despite the turmoil each person has or is experiencing under their authority, were put into office by God. 
"Oh, so God wanted me to lose my job, thanks to Obama?!" Yes.
"So, God wanted an adulterer in the White House? Yes. 
"So, God wanted the thousands of soldiers to die? Sadly, yes.

God does what He does, when He does and how He wants it done. I'm putting it bluntly, because these things have happened. Soldiers have died. Bill Clinton committed adultery and lied about it, while in the White House. People have lost jobs, homes, life savings, and a lot more, because of policies and regulations that are in place. God allowed it. If you cannot understand that, then you either need to read your bible and pray more, or make that decision to walk away. God doesn't want you to step away, but you have free will. 
When gas prices first went up a few years ago, I wasn't mad at God about it. I wasn't pleading for God to do something. I knew He would provide. It saddens me when people in authority fail. Truthfully, my name went on the petition that was started a few weeks ago to persuade the authorities to grant Troy Davis clemency. 

But I also knew I didn't have all the facts. Like many others, I prayed that God would make a mighty move on Davis' behalf. But I also prayed that the many Christians caught up in this battle would be accepting of God's will. Am I disappointed? Yes and no. I am accepting His will, and focusing on Him providing closure to both sides. Sadly, even the MacPhail family, aren't feeling true closure on this, according to their quote in this ABC report.

When I got the nitty gritty of the case, and what happened on that fateful day, I had to write about what we Christians, as the light and the salt, should be doing:

We must get all the facts.
We must exercise our right to vote. 
We must submit to those in authority, unless they have strayed from God's authority. Then we must pray and urge them back on God's path. If they don't, seek God and follow Him.
We must accept God's will. 

Republican Christians have got to accept that a democrat is in office, and work with him to keep the peace. When a republican is in office, democrat Christians have to accept it, and work with them.

We must pray and then do our part to keep the peace. Christians need to pray that God moves through the leadership in place, and pray for them, and find the good in them.

On a side note, instead of taking certain news channels word for anything, choose God's word first, and be sure they back it up. If they don't, stop watching them. Seriously, it's all about scaring you so you will keep watching.

At the end of the day, God is the one who provides for His people. We perish because of our lack of knowledge and understanding. It's not the government's provision, but God. Give him the praise. Can government be corrupted? Yes. There is no denying that, but the government is not our end all to be all. That's God. Seek Him first, not the handout. 
And at the same time, trust God when you help someone. Don't fret that your good deed may not be used correctly. We even need to make sure our church leaders are doing God's will. The old saying, "Power corrupts," is very true when it comes to us humans.

If you feel the leaders have failed, elect them out. But recognize, they were placed by God. At least respect His authority. And stay prayerful until their time is up.

What are you doing to keep the peace? Are you praying for your leaders? If not, why not?

Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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